After just six months on the job, Apple’s first vice president of diversity and inclusion is stepping down. Personnel changes at high level companies are not unusual. Just like Apple forces out the old iOS each year in order to make customers “upgrade” to a buggier, slower version, this is the human equivalent.
But what makes Smith’s departure noteworthy is that she is seemingly being pushed out for her comments at a conference where she claimed that employees can be diverse in ways other than race:
When asked whether she would be focusing on any group of people, such as black women, in her efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse Apple, Young Smith says, “I focus on everyone.” She added: “Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.” Her answer was met with a round of applause at the session.
“There can be 12 white, blue-eyed blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too.” Young Smith went on to add that “there can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”
These benign and even thoughtful statements inexplicably became controversial, and Smith, a black woman herself, was forced to apologize for saying that diversity meant something other than just walking around with color samples and making sure that the company has an employee for every swatch other than alabaster. At this rate, it would make more sense for Apple to hire a paint mixer at Sherwin Williams as its diversity officer just to make sure they’ve acquired every shade of non-white people.
The fact that Smith was forced to apologize for saying that there is more to diversity than skin tone highlights how superficial the left has become in their quest to appear the most “woke.” At this point, liberals are not trying to hire minorities in order to increase productivity or promote fairness, they are turning workplace inclusion into a perverse version of Pokemon Go, where white executives try to collect more brown coworkers than their competitors.
But the most surprising thing about the controversy is not that Apple disagreed with Smith’s statements, it is that they did so openly. Even if the underlying goal of Apple’s diversity initiative is for affirmative action rather than seeking out diverse viewpoints, one would think that it is still in Apple’s best interest to at least couch its initiative as if anyone can be viewed as diverse. There’s a reason that Smith’s statements were met with applause – people generally like it when their company’s “inclusion” program “includes” them. It is bad business to announce to your current employees, who are overwhelmingly white and Asian males, that the profits from their labor are going to be spent on recruiting and promoting people other than them (solely for the purpose of having people who are not white or Asian men).
It’s reminiscent of Hillary’s campaign. Whereas Barack Obama created a sense that the Democratic Party was welcoming to minorities, the Hillary campaign seemingly had a strong preference for anyone other than white men. Supporters of Bernie Sanders and his populist policies were derided as “Bernie bros.” Trump leaners were called deplorable, racist, sexist, and irredeemable. Is it any wonder white men voted for Trump at a margin of 2 to 1?
Smith’s comments proved controversial because they challenged the left’s views on diversity. White privilege gained in popularity because it allowed rich white liberals to extend an olive branch to their rich minority friends and act as if white kids in Arkansas, whose moms work at Wendy’s, were oppressing the offspring of Persian oil tycoons living in Beverly Hills. Our elite institutions pretend to be diverse by enrolling the white, black, Hispanic, and Asian children of lawyers and doctors (though now even these careers cannot afford tuition). Who do you think is really the underrepresented minority at Princeton? Walmart is the nation’s largest employee, but it’s hard to imagine the school could field a squash team of students whose parents worked a check-out counter.
There are a lot of different ways to view diversity, but apparently there is only one right way at Apple. Upon Smith’s departure, Apple hired a replacement for the newly created position. But now that it is explicitly known that diversity cannot mean a diversity of ideas, the title needs to be replaced as well. No longer will there be a “VP of diversity and inclusion,” instead there should be a “VP of getting rid of white and Asian men to the extent at all possible.”